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Work vs. Leisure for Cardio Health, Which Is Better?

By Stephen R. Farris

When it comes to heart health, one of the great debates for decades has been whether or not a person gets more exercise from work-related activity, or from leisure exercising -- like recreational sports, etc.

Well, according to a 10-year study held in Copenhagen, Denmark, a little over 100,000 people -- ages 20 to 100 -- participated in a survey ranking the amount of activity they did while at work and at leisure. 

You'd think that one would benefit the most by doing more cardio activity at work, versus casual activities such as recreational tennis, basketball, swimming, etc. However, that wasn't the case after the participants were revisited 10 years later after the initial study began. 

The results revealed that work-related activity doesn't raise a person's heart rate as much as leisure activity does. So maybe it might be time to reevaluate the type of physical activity you do in order to get your heart rate up and reduce your risk of developing heart disease, or stroke.

There are plenty of recreational (leisure) exercises you can do to help promote cardio health. The good news is that most can be done at home both inside and outside, or you can venture out to the park or a gym to do them.

Jumping Rope

It may sound like more of a child's exercise, and chances are you jumped rope when you were younger. However, just a few minutes of jumping rope can get the old ticker pumping. You can even listen to your favorite tunes if you want, and your jump rope can be taken and used anywhere you choose.


Dancing has been around for centuries. It's a great way to get in some cardio exercise while having fun at the same time. Most communities offer dance classes or may even have regular meetings a couple of times a week or more. 

Recreational Sports

Then there's the exercise for weekend warriors, recreational sports. Recreational sports can range from pick-up basketball games at the park a few days a week, to team baseball, softball, flag football, tennis, soccer and the list goes on. Recreational sports are a great way to get in some cardio exercise, as well as build friendships. It's a win-win however you see it!

So there you have it, simple ways to get the heart rate up on your own time. Before starting any exercise program, you should check with your doctor or local chiropractor to see if you're healthy enough to participate.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Mt. Prospect, Ill.

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